G Parthasarathy | April 4, 2014 11:53 pm
Jayalalithaa doesn’t mention the BJP in speeches but she is thought to be Modi’s friend. This feeling is expected to take the minority vote away from her.
Never in India’s history have relations with any neighbouring country been so dramatically influenced by the politics of a single state as our relations with Sri Lanka.
Unfortunately, public opinion in Tamil Nadu has not been adequately sensitised about the diplomatic complexities of developments in our neighbourhood, or of precisely what New Delhi is doing to address the needs and welfare of Tamils in Sri Lanka.
The Sri Lankan civil war ended when separatist leader Velupillai Prabhakaran was killed in 2009. It is universally accepted that both sides were guilty of human rights abuses during the last stages of the war — a fact acknowledged by Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).
India’s policy, thereafter, has been to work towards the Sri Lankans themselves implementing the LLRC recommendations. More importantly, apart from India, no government in the world has done anything substantive for the relief, rehabilitation and welfare of Sri Lankan Tamils.
Since 2010, India has doled out assistance estimated at $1.3 billion (Rs 8,000 crore) — its largest ever development assistance project — for the welfare of Sri Lankan Tamils. The projects include the construction of 50,000 homes and the supply of materials for around 43,000 war-damaged residences. There have also been major projects for the development of rail transport, port infrastructure in Kankesanthurai, a 500 MW thermal power station in Sampur and the upgrading of the Palaly airport.